How to Be the Real You in Your Blog Writing


In September, I spent a week in Germany. I look German and even lived in the country as a child, but I speak the language only well enough to be dangerous. I can order a glass of wine, but then the charade ends.How to be the Real You in Your Blog Writing

My elderly aunt isn’t fooled. She has trouble understanding my ungrammatical babble.

“Was sprichst du?” (What do you speak?) she asks. “Hoch Deutsch (high German) oder Platt Deutsch (Low German)?” “Schlecht Deutsch (Bad German),” I reply. I speak well enough to get by, but not well enough to really say anything.

And that was the problem. After three days in Germany, I had no beliefs, no opinions, no personality. As a blog writer,  I missed being able to express myself.

Having a platform that lets you communicate your personal brand is a rare gift. So go for it when you write your blog: Tell us what you think.

Say it in plain English. And celebrate who you are.

Get your personality across

Do this even if it’s abrasive. Especially if it’s abrasive.

If you’re writing authentically, your audience should know immediately that you authored a piece. My own style has been described as warm, witty, quirky. Whether you agree with that or not, you should be able to tell a piece is by me by the way I use words, by the positions I take, by the refusal to be serious for more than a few lines.

If your blog doesn’t sound like you, it’s time to rewrite until it’s genuine.

Take an outlandish position

Your blog gives you a chance to make a stand—so don’t wallow in the middle ground. Choose a position and defend it. I read a marketing blog post recently about Features and Benefits. For once, it did not say that every feature should also have a benefit. Quite the contrary. After hearing same old same old for years of copywriting, it was compelling to see a post that tore it all up.

Be that person—the one who opens eyes wide.

Don’t mince words

At dinner recently, a friend mentioned that his former wife had been in a car accident. Was it bad? our hostess asked. Not bad enough, he replied. OK, that’s cold, but we’re pretty clear how he feels about his ex-wife. So if you need to mince something, make it onions. Say it like you mean it. Forget the qualifiers and euphemisms.

If every word is a cloak for some more dastardly term, then you’re writing in another language.

Provoke disagreement

If you have a flock that follows you and it isn’t completely comprised of sheep, then engage them enough to disagree with you. Loudly, if necessary. I wrote a post once suggesting people use Readability Indices to make their posts more accessible to their audiences. One commenter said he’s tired of dumbing down his writing—and if his audience doesn’t understand it, he doesn’t want to talk to them anyway.

Bully for him.

Get rid of people

Go all the way—provoke disagreement to the point that readers unsubscribe from your blog.  No one’s unsubscribing? You’re not trying hard enough. Sure, they’ll be there as long as you’re so bland they hardly notice you. Or don’t bother to read your blog. But when you unmask, they may recoil. Good.

Distance yourself from the people who simply tolerate you.

Keep the people who love you

In some ways, business relationships work the same way as personal ones. You want to keep the people close who love you no matter what. I have three friends who would stick with me even if I become an axe murderer—although one admits she’d be disappointed.

Ultimately you want blog followers so avid that they love you even when you quarrel and want to work things out. Those people will advocate for you like the blasé folks never will.

And that, my friend, is the start of a beautiful relationship.

Guest author: Diana Kightlinger is a professional print and digital copywriter and content writer for high-achieving businesses, from solo entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. For more helpful info, like Eclipse Communications on Facebook and follow her on Eclipsewriter Blog.

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Comments

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/107418054739711167675 Rand Wilson

    Cannot agree more! I think that anyone who has read my blog would tell you that I tell it exactly like it is – like it or not…

  • Kim Williams

    Well said. The process of movement requires friction. Let us each add or bump of texture for creative traction!

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      Creative traction? Love the idea! Thanks, Kim. I’ll bump up the texture happily!

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGrahamSA David Graham

    Or quite simply, write like Jeff Bullas :)

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      No, write like David Graham! 😉 Cheers, Diana Kightlinger (aka Eclipse)

  • http://writtent.com/ Sergey

    I completely agree with every word that is written here! I also think that the less you mince your words, the more of a real writer you are.

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      Really, I’m not much on mincing onions either. Truth is, I’d rather read a writer with great ideas than great grammar. Cheers, Diana Kightlinger (aka Eclipse)

  • Jennifer Agrazada-Schreiner

    Been living in Germany for almost 3 years and finished up to B2 level. Today, I published my very first anti-scam article in German. Without the help of my colleagues, I wouldn’t have had the courage to even try: http://www.locanto.info/sicheres_handeln/2013/02/toller-iphone-deal.html

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      That’s about the level I’m at Jennifer: B2 in both German and French. The French I can live with, but it’s a touch embarrassing to be halb-Deutsch and not to be able to speak it better than I do. Especially with a sister who’s almost fluent! Thanks for your comment! Cheers, Diana Kightlinger (aka Eclipse)

  • http://twitter.com/QualityBuild Diversified Contract

    I am new to your blog and love your style! Thanks for this great post. Personality…it’s a good thing. :o)

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      Jeff Bullas has a fabulous blog with great content–and occasionally he lets me sneak in a guest post. Glad you enjoyed it. Cheers, Diana Kightlinger (aka Eclipse)

  • http://www.facebook.com/roysteves Roy Steves

    I love self-demonstrative articles, and your personality comes through on this one! Amusing, and advice that I generally follow (for better or worse). 😀

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      Whether it’s better or worse, it’s good to take a chance. Cheers, Diana Kightlinger (aka Eclipse)

  • Anthony Baisi

    Sometimes I find myself trying to be serious or professional when I’m really more humorous, sarcastic and casual. I’ll keep this post in mind when I’m working on my next article.
    Thank you

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      I’m sure we’d love the humorous, sarcastic and casual You! Or at least I would ;-).

    • Eclipse Communications Inc

      I’m sure I’d love the humorous, sarcastic and casual You ;-). Go for it, Anthony Baisi! Cheers, Diana Kightlinger (aka Eclipse)

  • Eclipse Communications Inc

    I love it! Too bad, stupid people ;-). I suppose the take-home is to know your audience and write for them. Or to know yourself and find your audience. Cheers, Diana (aka Eclipse)

  • http://www.blog.lakako.com/ Danny Brunstein

    Excellent article. We often think more about what we “should write about” then writing passionately. Thanks for this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottwayres Scott Ayres

    It’s a tough balance between being totally abrasive and being “that guy”. Some do it well though. Derek at Social Triggers is a prime example of this.

  • Stuart Paterson

    Thanks for making these very fundamental points clear, Diana – I think it’s very easy to suffer a kind of “Move paralysis” when blogging which can prevent the making of anything other than the most anodyne content.

  • http://www.creativepeople.co.nz/ Creativepeople

    Great point. We are just starting with creating our own content for our blog, we will keep these point in mind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vickilmoore Vicki Moore

    Very interesting. Just had this conversation with a friend today – wondering if I should give myself permission to be me on my blog. Now I don’t have to because you just did. Thanks.

  • http://www.bloggingmatters.net/ Hassaan Khan

    Nice post. Keeping yourself original and sincere will be the key for any blogger.

  • John Lennon

    Yup – phonies are easy to spot and hard to read. Thanks Jeff – great blog – just found it yesterday.

  • Ibrahim Yilmaz

    Hi. Thanks for this informative and encouraging post. Question: Jeff will your book be avalaible at the ibooks Store beside Amazon soon? I would like to buy it but prefer to do it on the iphone/ipad via iBooks

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      I do intend to put it on ibooks and hope to have it up in the next couple of weeks